Bangladeshi ‘char dwellers’ in search of higher ground

by Naimul Haq

Families who live on ‘chars’ – river islands formed from sedimentation – are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters. This family wades through floodwaters left behind after heavy rains in August caused major rivers to burst their banks in northern Bangladesh. Photo: IRIN News

ahanara Begum, a 35-year-old housewife, is surrounded by thatched-roof homes, all of which are partially submerged by floodwater.Heavy rains throughout the monsoon months, beginning in August, left thousands of people in northern Bangladesh homeless or in dire straits as the mighty Brahmaputra, Dharla and Teesta rivers burst their banks, spilling out over the countryside.